Google Android, Apple iOS Now on Pentagon's List of Mobile Devices

By Todd R. Weiss  |  Posted 2013-02-27 Print this article Print

BlackBerry has been suffering from a dwindling market share after being the industry leader for enterprise-class mobile devices for years, and that shrinking market share includes verticals that had long been loyal to BlackBerry for its exceptional security features. The problem is that BlackBerry has been late responding to changing consumer and business user tastes in what they expect from their devices.

BlackBerry's latest BlackBerry 10 devices, which add many of those smartphone capabilities while retaining the security business-friendly features of its past products, had been delayed several times in the past year, which added to the company's market share woes.

The BlackBerry 10 line was finally unveiled in January, with the release of the products slated for April in the United States.

It's been a rough couple of years for BlackBerry. Google's Android was the operating system of choice on 75 percent of the 181.1 million smartphones that shipped around the world in the third quarter of 2012, which was five times the 14.9 percent market share of Apple's iOS for the same period, according to IDC. The IDC report showed remarkable progress for the four-year-old Android OS against competition that includes the still-strong popularity of Apple iOS, a drastically smaller BlackBerry market, Microsoft's multiple Windows Phone efforts and the rest of a straggling field.

Android was on 136 million smartphones shipped in the quarter, compared with 26.9 million smartphones shipped by Apple, according to the report. For Android, that was a 91.5 percent year-over-year jump from the 71 million Android smartphones shipped in the same quarter one year ago.

BlackBerry OS shipped on 7.7 million smartphones in the quarter, while Symbian shipped on 4.1 million units, according to IDC. Windows Phone 7 or Windows Mobile shipped on 3.6 million devices, while Linux shipped on 2.8 million units.

Android use has been going through the roof worldwide. In fact, Android hit 500 million device activations overall in mid-September, just as Apple's latest iPhone 5 was about to launch.

The U.S. market for feature-rich smartphones is still expanding at a rapid clip, with two-thirds of new mobile phone buyers opting for devices that can do far more than their old-style flip phones, according to a study from Nielsen last year.


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